Benicia port fire under control as officials look for cause


The Benicia port fire has slowed considerably, according to the city on Sunday morning.

The 4-alarm fire started at 2:20 p.m. Saturday at the base of a set of commercial silos that hold refining fuel material before it is loaded into tanker ships. 

Firefighters said three small pockets of fire remain as of Sunday morning. The San Francisco Fire Department, as well as agencies from Benicia and Redwood City helped maintain the flames. The remaining smoke continued road closures along Bayshore Street.

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 "It has been a very, very difficult situation to extinguish," said Benicia Fire Chief Josh Chadwick during a press conference recorded Saturday night. 

 The only way to fight it is via fire boats, which have limited access depending on the tide. Six fire boats from around the Bay Area were sent to the scene, as well as U.S. Coast Guard vessels. 

Chadwick said the blaze initially traveled up to the top of a conveyer belt then dropped down to the asphalt pier, catching it on fire.

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There is no explanation for a cause yet.

The city as well as crews from the Port will return to the area Monday to reassess damage and determine how to move forward.